By Zahara Zuhair Tapping the vast synergies between the two economies of both Sri Lanka and India, ‘Indee Sri Lanka 2016’, an exhibition which showcases Indian engineering products to Sri Lanka, kick started yesterday at the BMICH. Around 100 Indian companies would be showcasing their products led by the Engineering Export Promotion Council of India (EEPC), the premier trade and investment promotion organisation, under the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry in India.
It also expects to provide the Indian exporters an insight into Sri Lanka’s market trend and economic sentiments and also to provide an opportunity to explore business opportunities and interact with their Sri Lankan counterparts. The exhibition would showcase products such as automotive components, passenger and commercial vehicles, lifting and mining machinery, domestic appliances, pumps, basic metals etc.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Y.K. Sinha said that considering the benefits reaped from the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by both countries despite the huge negativity, it is about time to take the FTA agreement to the next step. “Time has come to re-look at that now, time has come to the next step as business communities from both countries would be benefited,” he said noting that India-Sri Lanka bilateral touched US$ 4.7 billion in 2015 as a consequence of the trade which came into force in year 2000.
As India is pursuing a, ‘neighbourhood first’ policy, he noted that as far as India’s concern they are keen to build relationship with their neighbours. “Indian companies in 2003, have invested over US$ 1 billion in Sri Lanka with companies such as TATA, Lanka IOC etc., also Sri Lankan companies doing well in India with companies such as Hayleys, MAS holdings,” he noted.
Companies such as Bharti Airtel, Taj hotels, CEAT Tyres, ICICI bank, Axis bank, Piramal have already invested in Sri Lanka while Sri Lankan companies such as John Keells, Aitken Spence (hotels), Ceylon biscuit, Brandix have set foothold in India.